It is unlikely that when Bob Dylan first recorded “The Times, They Are A-Changing” in 1963, he was aware that his anti-Vietnam War era song was the perfect description for predicting the then-approaching Paradigm Shift.
First articulated by American physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn in 1962,
the term Paradigm Shift (PS) was inspired by Immanuel Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” and took on cultural significance with Kuhn’s reference to a radical theory change that distinguished between a revolution in science as compared to ‘normal science” done within an existing framework.
While the 1960s were a turbulent, chaotic time of assassinations, endless war and an unyielding political establishment, there was great hope that public demonstrations would bring meaningful change to the country’s political structure and usher in an era of peace. As Dylan’s masterpiece spoke to a coming political and social revolution, we now know those expectations were never fully realized.
Since the 1960s, today’s usage of PS has evolved to describe a ‘dramatic change in the prevailing framework of existing reality’ to include the sweeping transformation of outmoded structures and institutions that no longer serve the public interest, challenges to basic assumptions about how the world functions and the surfacing of dark truths that have been kept from the public.
Given today’s turbulent political environment with much attention focused on Trump’s medieval policies and the Democrats near-total collapse as a viable alternative, a step back from the furor reveals an emerging, if unsettling series of events – that there is a uniquely powerful political, cultural, social and institutional Paradigm Shift (see list below) occurring right under our noses.
While doubts about the integrity of American institutions have been widespread for decades, what is unique about this Shift is the sheer volume and magnitude of events, changes or transformation underway virtually all at the same time – and those Shifts are not limited to partisan politics but span a wide segment of American culture and environment.
The sudden revelations of the Bill Cosby – Harvey Weinstein allegations, followed by weeks of additional accusations of sexual misconduct, comes to mind as one example of deeply held secrets, known by certain insiders, yet kept hidden from the public for decades.
Other events that could be viewed as PS related include the 2016 Brexit vote to leave the EU just as suggestions about the EU’s instability continue to abound. Immediately following Brexit was the Wikileaks release of thousands of DNC emails citing efforts to sabotage the Bernie Sanders campaign which also opened the door to widespread internet discussion about elite participation on pedophilia crimes against American children and, of course, the loss of sure-winner Hillary Clinton and the election of political outlier Donald Trump.
The 2008 election of Barack Obama would qualify as a PS event with a racially minority candidate, although actor Morgan Freeman referred to Obama as the nation’s first mixed race president rather than a candidate born directly out of America’s inner city black experience. Promising hope and change as president, Obama failed to deliver as a convincing PS as he consistently protected the ‘old order;’ initiating war in four countries living in peace in 2008 (Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Libya) and the most aggressive pursuit in American history of the country’s most prestigious whistleblowers.
When the hierarchy of the nation’s top law enforcement agency is revealed to have organized within its bureaucratic structure to undermine a major party presidential candidate and initiated further efforts to destabilize a newly elected president, it was only a matter of time before the details would emerge – the full extent of which may not yet be known.
As the American psyche is not immune from the chaos of these seemingly disconnected external events, a deep sense of foreboding has set in that the country is spinning out of control as if a whirling cosmic force had taken control.
Contributing to the sense of confusion that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, the American public (which supports a fair immigration policy) is bewildered when President Bill Clinton articulated an immigration policy in 1995 that today’s Democrats vehemently oppose.
As public lack of support for the two political parties continues to erode, the line between the Democrats and Republicans has thinned as both are unabashed supporters of the country’s intel, surveillance. military and financial apparatus. The Dems continue to foment an alienate-and-divide strategy with no real leadership on important policy issues as the Republicans put the social safety net on the chopping block.
With events happening so quickly leaving little time to assimilate the impacts, the American public struggles to process what is real, trustworthy and authentic as it witnesses the unraveling of deep cultural decay, a behind-the-scenes subterranean power struggle that has yet to fully surface and disintegration of the American Empire.
And yet most Americans continue to believe in the illusion of democracy and function as a model of cognitive dissonance with little awareness of its own contribution to the collective collapse of a fantasy world that never existed.
While the country is fast approaching an existential crisis on steroids, life’s karmic vengeance is preparing to exact its payment for pursuit of an unsustainable materially acquisitive lifestyle, allowing an unaccountable national security complex to run roughshod over the Constitution while the public looked the other way as Congress recklessly drove the national debt through the roof and allowed war criminals to define foreign policy.
In spite of the above, somewhere there lurks in the American psyche a deep capacity for renewal, truth telling and honesty. It won’t be pretty and there are difficult days ahead but it is long past due for the American public to stand tall and enunciate or demand, a new and different national vision; one ennobling and empowering to the democratic spirit and to publicly reject the decades of deceit and corruption.
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Here are some PS examples:
Dissolution of the country’s two political parties
$20 trillion missing from the Pentagon and HUD
neo-con Bill Kristol endorses billionaire Oprah Winfrey for president,
Apple/Intel aware of Spectre and Meltdown digital ‘vulnerabilities’ hackable flaws
with no corrective patch available
Rise and fall of Cryptocurrencies
Southern Poverty Law Center multimillion $ off shore account
Never ending wars in middle east
Multiple mass shootings
NY Times reporter James Risen confirms NYT suppression of stories at
Corruption of FBI hierarchy
Lack of credible political leadership
Yellowstone Super Volcano
Moeller Russiagate investigation
Continued ‘house arrest’ of Julian Assange
TV ads criticizing the Humane Society of the US for misappropriation of funds
NY Stock Exchange peaks at $26,000 prior to ‘correction’
Bipartisan Congressional approval of $80 Billion Pentagon increase beyond
Trump’s budget request which included massive cuts to the social safety net
Decrease in the Earth’s electromagnetic shield in the last hundred years
Continuing shift of Earth’s magnetic poles as evidenced by the
NASA’s blasé denial of threat to Earth’s radiation shield